In late 2015, actor Charlie Sheen admitted to Matt Lauer on The Today Show that he was HIV positive. “I have to put a stop to this onslaught, this barrage of attacks and sub-truths and very harmful and mercurial stories that are about me,” Sheen said at the time. He explained how he had been paying millions of dollars to friends and colleagues to keep his illness a secret, but that revealing the truth to the public would finally release him from the “prison” he said he created for himself.
Now, the Anger Management actor is hinting that Hollywood is full of HIV positive stars just like him.
In Wednesday’s episode of The Kyle and Jackie O Show, host Jackie ‘O’ Henderson asked: “Do you think there are more people in Hollywood that have HIV that wouldn’t dare come out and say it like you did?” Rather mysteriously, Sheen announced that he knows who they are, but that he would “take that to my grave.”
In a separate interview with Daily Mail Online in December, Sheen talked about PRO-140, the clinical trial drug used in his treatment. Since early 2016, Sheen has been taking weekly injections (as opposed to a daily medication with traditional antiretroviral therapy) and experiencing virtually no side effects. Just a few months ago, Sheen learned that the PRO-140 treatment has been a success, as it has suppressed the virus in its entirety. (RELATED: Read about a man who contracted HIV while on a drug that was supposedly 90% effective).
In the past, Sheen has bragged about living a carefree lifestyle full of partying, drugs, and sex with dozens of different women. But in an appearance on KIIS FM radio, Sheen said that his sex life hasn’t been the same since contracting HIV. “Here’s the joke these days,” he said to the hosts. “A friend of mind says ‘hey man how’s your sex life?’ and I’m like ‘oh it’s just f—ing perfect because HIV is such a great pickup line.’”
The hosts later asked Sheen whether or not he was still sexually active, to which he replied, “not anymore.”
But even though Sheen has high enough spirits to still be able to joke about having the virus, for most, HIV is no laughing matter. Those who don’t use an effective treatment like PRO-140 often experience flu-like symptoms, aches and pains, fatigue, and diarrhea. Some symptoms that are more serious include dementia, kidney damage, eating problems, anxiety and depression, seizures, and inflammation of the brain and spinal cord.